For every movie about alcoholism, there are several more about drug abuse and its consequence. And, there are even more that glorify drug use.
“Say hello to my little friend,” says Al Pacino in perhaps the most memorable drug abuse movie of all-time, “Scarface”. Drugs are glorified throughout the movie as a means to power and riches, but in the end, they are Pacino’s ultimate downfall.
“Trainspotting” is a less glamorous, and more gritty version of a traditional American drug abuse story. Set in Scotland, this movie shows the lives of young, hopeless, unemployed Edinburgh youth who choose drugs and thievery as a lifestyle. The toll that heroin takes, and the things these young men have to do to feed their habit will haunt you for a long time. There is nothing glamorous about this one.
Nothing like a stupid pot movie to make drugs seem like good, clean, fun. “Half Baked,” starring Dave Chappelle is a 90’s take on the genre made famous by Cheech and Chong twenty years earlier. Perpetually stoned, always hungry, and simple, harmless antics are what these men are made of as they try to raise money (by selling weed) to bail their idiot friend out of jail. This kind of movie is what gives marijuana the harmless name it has, which is far from…
“Drugstore Cowboy” – Matt Dillon stars as an addict who robs pharmacies to feed the drug habits of him and his friends. Their life is not fun and their constant search for their next fix is simply exhausting. Dillon attempts to go clean in the end but finds he needs to leave quite a bit behind.
Not so much a drug movie as a movie about the pornography industry, “Boogie Nights” is perhaps my favorite drug movie. Starring Burt Reynolds as a pornography producer and Mark Wahlberg as the biggest stud in his stable, the drug use is at first recreational and joyous, evolving to abusive and addictive, and eventually fatal. In my opinion, a highly under-rated movie, giving a scary glimpse into the porn industry, pre-videotape.